We’ve all had that moment where we see part of an F1 car on eBay and think, ‘If I buy a load of parts, I could build an entire F1 car!’ Well someone had that thought and then went and did it. A guy in Brighton bought F1 tubs from two BAR’s and went about building an F1 car in his shed.
Click below for some images of this impressive project.
Thomas isn’t an engineer; his expertise is merely that of a hard-core fan’s. But with two tubs in hand, he decided he had to put one on the track. He needed only an appropriate drivetrain, suspension, seat, and, well, everything else that makes up a modern Formula 1 car. Resources were—and remain—scarce. He says: “It quickly became clear that it was very difficult, or even impossible, to get the right parts. I have to use what I can get.” He trades among a community of F1 parts collectors, and he checks eBay every day. His shed is filled with F1 components, and he says making them fit has been part of the fun. His sidepods, for example, are from a later Williams-BMW. He learned to work with carbon fiber, chopped up the pods, and modified them to fit with a BAR engine cover. This resourcefulness has served him well: His total outlay has been only about $13,000, and from the look of it, you’d think he had a complete car.
He doesn’t. He’s still short a drivetrain—among other things—and a 600-plus-hp 3.0-liter V-10 like the one that first powered the BAR is unlikely to show up on eBay. “I’ll probably go for a Formula Renault 3.5-liter engine,” Thomas says. “That will be plenty fast enough to scare the living daylights out of me.” Even a well-sorted Formula 1 car can be a nasty beast. One built from pieces scavenged from various sources and cobbled together in a shed on a shoestring will likely be downright evil. But that’s not the point. It’s the construction of the car, the sheer lunacy and joy of making diverse parts come together and work as one, that counts.
I hate myself for that BARilliant joke…